MAKING PAPER TOYS THAT MOVE
Originated in Japan, Karakuri is an art of making paper toys that move using simple mechanisms such as gears, cranks, cams and levers. ‘Karakuri’ also known as ‘Automata’, means some mechanism, machinery or trick without the use of computers. The key point here is some kind of mechanical trickery. It involves some creative thought based on an understanding of how mechanisms convert one kind of movement to another.
Karakuri toys create a sense of curiosity in our minds and we wonder how it really works. There is an element of surprise and we keep guessing how can there be a movement in the toy when we are simply rotating a handle? There is no magic and Karakuri toys simply work on the basic principles of engineering and some of the simplest mechanisms. We can call our Karakuri toy a small machine generating some kind of movement, when a small force is applied over its handle.
Testimonial for the book by Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President of Early Childhood Association (ECA) and Association for Primary Education and Research (APER)